AGM

 

 Tenbury and District Museum Society
 
Minutes of the AGM
 
Thursday 26th November 2015

 
 
Present:  Total of 20 members and visitors.  The visitors who were not members of the Society were welcomed.  Chairman welcomed Tenbury Town Mayor and his wife.
 
Apologies:  were received from Sandra Shakespeare; Rachel Cockett; Mark Mason; Caroline Palethorpe; Jacqueline Smith; John Meager; Marion Morris; Pam Brooks.
 
Chairman asked for a moment’s silent thought for Vern Brooks who had died on 17th
 
1.      Minutes of the last AGM:  Proposed as a correct record:  Liz Finlay; Seconded: Linda Archer and approved by members present.
 
2.      Matters arising:  There were no matters which were not listed for discussion on this agenda.
 
3.      Chairman’s Report:  See attached.
 
4.      Treasurer’s Report:  See attached.  Dave reported a healthy state of accounts.  This was due to some unexpected donations and we are still holding grants for projects.  He reported that general donations were down a bit on last year.  Dave recommended maintaining the annual subscription at the current £5.  Tony Penn proposed acceptance of the report; seconded by Linda Archer.  All present in favour.
 
5.      Collections Report:  See attached.
 
6.      Election of Officers:
 
a.      There were no nominations from the floor.
b.      At this point Tony Penn (Committee representative for MHDC) noted that he regularly reports to the MHDC recording the conscientious and professional manner in which the Museum is run.  He recorded congratulations to the whole committee for this.
c.      Chairman:  Dick Fox: is standing down.  Liz Finlay has been proposed by Dick Fox and Seconded by Stella Mason; all in favour.
d.      Vice Chairman: Vacancy.
e.      Secretary:  Mike Thompson continuing in office
f.        Treasurer:  David Patrick: continuing in office
g.      A block vote was taken by Chairman for Officers continuing in office:  all in favour
 
7.      Nominations for other Committee Members and Volunteer Roles: There were no nominations for additional Committee Members; Chairman recorded that there is space for more Committee Members.  The Committee is represented by the Officers plus Stella Mason, Monica Rees and Phil Rees.  As all are continuing from last year, Chairman took a block vote with all in favour.
 
There being no other business, the AGM closed at 7.45pm
 
 
 
We then moved into the next part of the evening, a talk given by Mike Watkins entitled “Titanic – things you didn’t know”.
 
Mike is an absolute fund of knowledge about the Titanic and gave a very interesting talk.  He started the presentation with the competition between White Star Line and Cunard.  This was a time when there was strong competition for the wealthy customers of both companies crossing the Atlantic.  There was also the challenge of the Blue Riband for the fastest crossing.  So both companies vied for speed and comfort which, in turn, lead to ever bigger boats.  Cunard had the Mauritania and Lusitania so the WSL took on the challenge and built Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic to be 50% bigger.  The implication of this was that the ship yard of Harland & Wolff had to be rebuilt on a much larger scale.
 
This was when Mike started on his “things we did not know” in that he presented a list of statistics to show the enormity of the project.  He continued with the talk about the boat showing remarkable statistics of numbers of people, cargo, provisions, coal, etc., etc., etc..  All in all, Mike demonstrated the mind-boggling complications of the project at the time, but challenging even by today’s standard (although he did end with a picture of the Titanic being dwarfed by the largest floating city/cruise liner today!)
 
A truly interesting and enjoyable talk.  Mike very generously waived his fee in favour of Museum funds.
 
  
The evening was rounded off with some fellowship over light refreshment.
 


CHAIRMAN's REPORT

My report will necessarily be brief and not wishing to steal their thunder I hope that the other officers’ reports will contain the detail.  I have to confess that my perception is that this has been a quietly disappointing year for the Museum.  Whilst we have refined our routine procedures in the Goffs School building, we are continually constrained by the physical limitations of the place and further frustrated by the lack of progress with Tesco and the projected move to the old Fire Station.  Last year I reported that we had involved Harriet Baldwin MP in our wish to progress the scheme, and eventually, thanks to Tony Penn, we arranged a meeting with Tesco representatives in July.  At this meeting the Tesco representatives confirmed the continued commitment to Tenbury but could not give a definite date, other than stating that Tenbury did not fall within their 2 years ahead planning.  This was disappointing and we have heard nothing more of substance since that meeting.  The Museum can therefore only continue to make the best use of the current premises.   If all this sounds a bit sad, be assured that the Museum is in good heart, it is well managed and in a sound financial state, its visitor figures for this year are good, and it enjoys the sympathy and support of the people of Tenbury.  This year we have received unsolicited grants from two local trusts and we are a beneficiary of the Mayor’s Charity.   (Welcome, Mr Mayor, and thank you for your support).
 
I am resigning from the Chairmanship of the Museum at this meeting after nearly five years of what started out as simply a stop gap to fill a sudden resignation by the previous incumbent.  I am also leaving the Committee after about 17 years, but will continue as a Steward.  The Museum Society was the first local Society I joined when I returned to Tenbury 20 years ago, and I have seen its progress from a very amateur affair then to the respected professional position it now occupies in its “Accredited” status.   This would not have been achieved without the hard work and determination of my fellow committee members, and I thank them for their long term dedication including this last year, and also my thanks go to Tony Penn (MHDC) and Eric Hudson (Tenbury T.C.) for their continuing support and grants obtained.  Our volunteer stewards are vital to the Museum’s day to day opening to the public and they have been reliable, conscientious and cheerfully helpful to our visitors, despite being unheated and untoileted (and now rodent threatened) over the year – they too merit our thanks and recognition.
 
Thank you for attending this AGM and please continue your support for the Museum and its new Chairman and Committee as it goes forward to an uncertain but potentially rewarding future re-location 

TREASURER's REPORT



COLLECTIONS REPORT

1. Volunteers
We are able to recruit new volunteers but we are not able to retain them owing to: the poor state of the building, no facilities and few visitors making it up Cross Street at the right time.  The poor state of the building also affects the collections, only today volunteers working in the museum found extensive evidence of mice among the Tenbury Advertisers.
 
2. Tesco
Councillor Tony Penn is MHDC representative on our committee. Tony is also a great supporter of Tesco coming to the Cattle Market site. Tony first suggested that the Old Fire Station might be a more suitable central location for the museum. Tesco own the building and we volunteers have visited on two occasions and consider that, while it is not ideal, it could be made a good venue. However, negotiations on an acceptable lease have stalled and we are unable to take it any further without the confidence of an agreement on the lease.
 
3. Our Organisation
The museum collections also contain archives and images and we are thinking about changing the nature of our organisation to encompass local history and heritage, so we are looking around to see what collections are held by other societies in the district, e.g. History Society.  At this stage we are not sure whether we could be a – Heritage Centre or Local History Centre, whatever we choose we will keep a museum section. Let us know your thoughts.
 
4. Feasibility Study
While we are not confident enough to carry out feasibility on the Old Fire Station, we do want to move forward and we are looking at who our visitors and users might be if we were in a central location and were branded as a heritage or history centre as well as a museum. Our current visitors are mainly tourists and those researching their family history and we are trying to make contact with local schools. Making the case for heritage is crucial to any grant application.
 
5. Tenbury Advertisers
Each year I draw attention to the poor storage of the Tenbury Advertisers. Now damage caused by mice have helped us to come to a decision. We have destroyed those copies damaged beyond use and keeping the good ones safely stored in boxes. Just to remind members that the advertisers have been digitised and the database is on the museum computer and on a hard drive in Tenbury Library. The British Library hold a complete run and in 20013 I consulted the Heritage Lottery Fund, which funded the digitisation, and confirmed there was no interest in retaining the hard copies.
New acquisitions-
New items of importance are: a Bronze Age flint arrowhead found locally, the drawing instruments of JJ Foster, architect of the previous public toilets in Market Street, and a canning machine.
 
6. Relocation
Further to the Chairman’s remarks about Tesco and the Old Fire Station, we volunteers have been frustrated about the lack of progress and have begun work on some non-site specific aspects of a feasibility study. We are exploring what other collections are around and who will support our plans and we have been in discussion with Tenbury History Society, the Town Council and Tenbury Tourist Information Centre.
 
 





 






Tenbury and District Museum Society
 
Minutes of the AGM
 
Thursday 20th November 2014

 
 
Present:  Total of 19 members and visitors.  The visitors who were not members of the Society were welcomed.
 
Apologies:  were received from Sandra Shakespeare; Vicky Smith; Mark Mason; Val Swanick; Jacqueline Smith & Tony Penn.
 
1.      Minutes of the last AGM - Proposed as a correct record:  Liz Finlay; Seconded: Linda Archer and approved by members present.
 
2.      Matters arising:
There were no matters which were not listed for discussion on this agenda.
 
3.      Chairman’s Report:  See attached.
 
4.      Treasurer’s Report:
  See attached.  Dave reported that the unusually high Bank Balance was due to grants for particular projects yet to be completed.  Dave also noted a large receipt (net £488.5) from Monica’s efforts to sell the Gramophone Speaker on e-bay.  It could be sold as it became redundant due to an exceptionally high infestation of wood worm in the Gramophone which had to be destroyed. Dave reported that donations were down slightly, but this was compensated by improved sales.  Electricity costs:  Dave reported that he had recovered the overpayment from last year’s bill and has negotiated a lower tariff for this year.  The treasurer proposed keeping the annual subscription at £5; this was agreed by all present.  Stella Mason proposed acceptance of the report; Pam Brooks seconded with all in favour.
 
5.      Collections Report:  see attached.  Phil Rees proposed acceptance of the report; Monica Rees seconded with all in favour.
 
6.      Election of Officers:
 
a.      There were no nominations from the floor.
b.      Chairman:  Secretary took the vote for Chairman: Dick Fox continuing in office; all in favour.
c.      Vice Chairman: Liz Finlay: continuing in office
d.      Secretary:  Mike Thompson continuing in office
e.      Treasurer:  David Patrick: continuing in office
f.        As all Officers continuing in office a block vote was taken by Chairman:  all in favour
 
7.      Nominations for other Committee Members and Volunteer Roles:  There were no nominations for additional Committee Members; Chairman recorded that there is space for more Committee Members.  The Committee is represented by the Officers plus Stella Mason, Monica Rees and Phil Rees.  As all are continuing from last year, Chairman took a block vote with all in favour.
 
8.      Any other business:
There being no other business, the AGM closed at 7.49pm
 
 
 
We then moved into the next part of the evening, a talk given by Charles Talbot entitled “The Long Weave”.
 
 
Charles is the Chairman of the Trustees of the Carpet Museum Trust, Kidderminster.
 
Charles explained that the title of his talk refers to the long gestation of the Museum with its attendant ups and downs.  For over a century the principal employer in Kidderminster was the carpet industry, but it was beginning a serious decline in the 1970’s.  As a result, The Carpet Museum Trust was founded in 1981 with the aim of “establishing a public museum for the exhibition of items of local historical and educational interest and in particular in any way connected with the manufacture of carpets and similar textiles”.
 
The Trust had a strong start with donations from the failing manufacturers of all manner of artefacts including machinery, patterns, ledgers, deeds, board minutes, in fact anything and everything to do with the industry which could conceivably be used for research in future.  The first set back came in the 1990’s with financial difficulties and the closure and demolition of the former museum – the collections went into storage.
 
However, by dint of a great deal of enthusiasm and hard work a Heritage Lottery Grant was made in 2004 for the development of an archive for online research.  Now add a bit of luck to the hard work and in 2006, the Trust was invited to take up a base in Stour Vale Mill, Green Street, Kidderminster.  With a further HLF grant of nearly £2M in 2012 this building has been developed into the Carpet Museum seen today
 
An excellent and very enjoyable talk which is a good inspiration for Tenbury Museum to continue its work to find better premises and develop a Heritage Centre.
 
 
The evening was rounded off with some fellowship over light refreshment.

 
 
  CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
 
 
After closure to the public in October 2013 the winter work programme was put in to operation.   Despite  the cold conditions a good deal of routine maintenance as well as specialised tasks were achieved by hardy volunteers and I thank them for their unglamorous but necessary efforts ready for re-opening at Easter this year.   The audit of our collections continued and unfortunately we discovered woodworm in some items, which have been freeze-treated.  The gramophone was so badly affected it had to be destroyed but we were able to sell the horn (it went to the archaeologist who discovered the body of Richard III in the Leicester car park – thank you Monica).
 
The major concern during the year was progress (or lack of it) in our project to create a Heritage Centre in the old Fire Station.  Having achieved funding from Worcestershire C.C. for a feasibility study we were frustrated by Tesco offering an insufficiently long lease (20 years, not 40) on the site, and then as Tesco’s misfortunes became public, by their apparent refusal to communicate with us.  This has continued up to date and we have written to MP Harriet Baldwin about it, as we feared the loss of the feasibility study grant, and received assurances of her support.  We wait to see what 2015 will bring, and struggle on with the uncertainties and problems of the Goff’s School site.   Storage of our costumes will be helped by the use of vacated Carpet Museum space in Bewdley, for which we are grateful.
 
Overall our attendance was 13% down on 2013; while we are definitely not complacent about it, there are valid explanations and differences between this year and last year’s circumstances.  We continued to man the Pump Rooms when they opened to coincide with the Produce Market Saturdays and were rewarded with some good visitor figures. We took a stand at the Applefest but did not attend the Tenbury Show this year, and we have been involved in the Tenbury Volunteer Forum in June that produced some interest and 2 new volunteers for the Museum.  Our big summer event was our contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of the start of WW1 – we produced a major display in the Pump Rooms, joined in with Tenbury High School, and received many visitors during the day.
 
I should like to mention some of the widely varied matters that Museum staff deal with outside the normal Museum functions.   For instance we have received enquiries from family genealogy researchers in Australia, NZ and USA; from a passerby who wanted to know the story of the silver tree at St. Michaels; from a gentleman trying to re-create a pre-war Wolseley advertisement outside the old Swan Hotel; and so on, all of which we endeavour to answer or pass the enquirer on to someone else who can help.
 
All of this was achieved through the hard work and dedication of your Committee and volunteers and I am grateful to them for all they have done.  Thank you also to Tony Penn (MHDC) and Eric Hudson (Tenbury Town Council) for their continued efforts for the Museum.  We look forward to next year in the hope that progress will be made with the Heritage Centre project.  






COLLECTIONS REPORT

TenburyMuseum: Collection priorities for 2013-2014
 

1.         Complete collections audit
            50-60% completed – still to be done: archives, Cobbler’s shop, costume
 
2.         Carry out collections review
            Following audit, carry out review including checking provenance, donors and         condition
 
3.         Remove items currently stored outside the museum
            Worcestershire store (misc. War items)
            Stella’s shed (WWII items, gas lamp, and various social history items)
            Val’s spare room (Costume collection)
 
4.         Agree action with regard to the Tenbury Advertisers
            We have discussed this issue at length and realise that they are a finite resource that       are both a strength and a weakness for the museum
 
5.         Basic collections care
            No work has been carried out on any of the items and some basic preventative     collections care work can be implemented with some collections volunteers
 
Stella Mason 07/01/2013
 
 
Update for AGM 2014
 
This is the progress on the collection priorities made in January 2013 and given above:
 
1.      Collections audit – cobbler’s shop done, costume done, archives still to do
 
2.      Collections review – still to be done, affected by plans to move
 
3.      Remove items from outside store – WCC store items removed, Stella’s shed all items removed except for gas lamp, room in Bewdley store found for costume but that is still to be done
 
4.      Agree action re Tenbury Advertises – no progress
 
5.      Basic collections care – items with wood worm frozen at WCC store
 
 
Heritage Centre Project
 
In the early part of the 2014 our plans to move to the Old Fire Station, now in the ownership of Tesco, and change our vision to become a ‘heritage centre’ were occupying our thoughts. We secured funding for a feasibility study and negotiations were progressing slowly with Tesco to obtain a lease. Since then progress has halted and stories in the press indicate that Tesco are having major issues. We provided information to our MP Harriet Baldwin for her meeting with Tesco and our plans are now on hold pending any further developments.
 
 
Stella Mason 20/11/2014